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David Hockney Basket Exhibit Opens At Heard Museum In Phoenix

(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Decades before Yosemite became a national park and mesmerized visitors like British artist David Hockney, it was simply the backyard garden of Native American basket weavers.

Dr. Ann Marshall of the Heard Museum in Phoenix says weavers from the Miowk and Mono Lake Paiute tribes knew exactly where to pick the plants they needed to make baskets.

The reverence they and a man considered one of the world's greatest living artists had for California's Yosemite Valley has inspired an unlikely exhibition. "David Hockney's Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry" opens Monday in Phoenix.

Credit Courtesy of Christie’s.
David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972.

Former David Hockney Foundation executive director Richard Benefield says the 82-year-old Hockney would be pleased with the pairing.

Hockney is primarily known for his paintings of poolside life in Los Angeles and landscapes of the English countryside.